Darwin series: Baboons benefit from strong social networks, expert says

full story @ www.udel.edu

Darwin series: Baboons benefit from strong social networks, expert says
2:07 p.m., May 6, 2009—-Monkey communication expert Robert Seyfarth began his lecture on May 5, the kick-off of the University of Delaware’s Year of Darwin celebration, with a true story, documented in 1961, about a female baboon that herded goats in an African village.
The baboon knew all of the relationships between the goats so well that at night she would carry a bleating kid from one barn directly to its mother in another barn.
“For all the centuries we’ve bred dogs, no dog has exhibited this knowledge of kids and mothers,” said Seyfarth, who is a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “The question is where does this mind come from?”

Seyfarth transported an audience of about 200 people into the fascinating world of the baboons of Botswana’s Okavanga Delta, which he and Dorothy Cheney, his research partner, fellow Penn professor, and spouse, studied from 1992 to 2008.